When selecting a new smartphone, should I buy an ios or android smartphone?

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Answered by: Tyler, An Expert in the Cell Phones - General Category
Smartphones have become increasingly popular over the past few years, with millions of people transitioning to using the portable computers in order to stay connected with their email, social networking, and other cloud services on the go. Each of the available smartphone platforms have a variety of different strengths and weaknesses as a platform, but the two largest available systems are Apple's iOS, and Google's Android. When making a choice between iOS or android smartphones, there are a number of different factors that can help guide a consumer in making a decision.

First of all, a consumer must consider the difference in ecosystems between iOS and Android. Apple has long had a significant foothold in the mobile market as a provider of music, television shows, movies, and applications far and above any other provider. More recently, with the introduction of the iPad, they have also introduced their own services in providing digital books and magazines.

However, that said, Google has made numerous steps in the past few years, providing their own music store, as well as a marketplace for movies and television, as well as many comparable applications for their smartphones. One of the most important considerations to make is the availability of this content. The content that Apple provides is almost entirely exclusive to iOS itself, while Google provides most of it's services and content as third party solutions for iOS as well. This means that a user who purchases content from Google's stores will still have ease of access if they switch to another platform later on, while iOS users may have much more trouble attempting to migrate their data to other platforms.

The second major consideration that an individual must make in their decision is in that of hardware and software options. Their is a stark difference in options between the two platforms. Apple provides integrated hardware and software, providing both in a tightly controlled system, releasing only one model each year, with only 6 models of iPhone that exist. Meanwhile, Google does not manufacture it's own hardware, instead licensing it out to other manufacturers. What this means to the consumer is that Android is available on a wide variety of screen sizes, configurations, and features, as well as a wide range of price. However, that comes at a cost of software updates, as updates on a particular Android phone to the latest version of software lags far behind Google's own releases due to control of firmware and software updates being the responsibility of the manufacturer.

Meanwhile, Apple's hardware is very limited in options, as they only have one current model compared to the dozens of current Android devices, but their software is available as readily as Apple releases it. Thus, the consumer can make their decision between the one current iPhone, or the many options of Android available, depending on the features and cost they are looking to find.

While everyone has their own concerns and desires in regards to their preference between ios or android smartphones, taking the time to consider the ecosystem and available hardware and software should make it easier for a consumer to weigh the available options and make their decision.

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